Net premiums written by 21 U.S. property-casualty reinsurersdeclined by 8.7 percent during the nine months ended Sept. 30,compared with the same period last year, according to theReinsurance Association of America's quarterly survey.

The Washington-based reinsurer group said the 21 firms wrote$17.9 billion of net premiums during the nine months--a decrease of$1.7 billion.

Those surveyed had a combined ratio of 94.1--a 1.3-pointimprovement from the 95.4 figure reported for the same period in2006. The combined ratio is attributable to a 65.6 loss ratio andan expense ratio of 28.5.

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